By Eraina Hooyer
School is out which means no more homework and no more teacher’s dirty looks, but books are still alive and strong at the summer program at the Ponoka Jubilee Library.
“Kids really seem to enjoy it, we’re here for them,” said program leader Laura Toews. “There’s been a great turnout and the kids just love it.”
There are currently 90 children signed up for the summer program with approximately 50 children each day. The program runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. for children ages three to nine and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. for children ages 10 and up. It is a drop off program and anyone is encouraged to come.
The theme for this summer is Laugh Out Loud and each session there is something different. The summer program has crafts, stories, games and many other activities for those who come.
“There are different themes on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Toews. “It all focuses on funny topics that we can tell jokes about.”
The children in the program recently celebrated 100 years of Anne of Green Gables with a party where they dressed in clothes from the time period, learned how to make butter and played old fashioned games from the turn of the century.
There is also a big final party planned for Aug. 14 where, weather permitting, there will be water fights, juice and snacks.
The summer program also has different non-competitive challenges that merit different prizes. The challenges fit the theme of the day and have included bringing in a picture of a horse for the rodeo theme and researching information about Lucy Maud Montgomery for the Anne of Green Gables theme.
The program encourages children to read during the summer months and promotes creativity and imagination.
Toews believes another benefit to the program is that children will not feel a large amount of stress with reading and homework when the school season begins.
“I think the program will help them with the transition when they go back to school,” she said. “It’s also promotes reading with their families and will help them in their future.”
Toews is impressed with the response of the children in the program and is pleased with the time they spend on reading.
“I love to see how much kids want to read,” said Toews. “I’m an avid reader myself and seeing these kids read about 14 hours a week is great.”
Librarian Norma-Jean Colquhoun is pleased with the program and believes that it is beneficial for children to continue reading, learning and having fun while they are out of school.
“It’s important for children to maintain their reading and skills over the summer months,” said Colquhoun. “Kids can have an advantage when they do go back to school. It’s also good to make the association that reading equals fun so that they will want to continue with it.”
For more information contact the library at 403-783-3843.